The Reflective Practitioner Perspective in Software Engineering

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The Reflective Practitioner Perspective in Software Engineering
Position Paper
CHI 2004 One Day Workshop - Designing for Reflective Practitioners
Orit Hazzan1 and Jim Tomayko2
1

Department of Education in Technology and Science, Technion - IIT, Haifa 32000, Israel oritha@tx.technion.ac.il 2

School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A. jet@cs.cmu.edu This position paper is based on our articles:
Hazzan, O. (2002). The reflective practitioner perspective in software engineering education, The
Journal of Systems and Software 63(3), pp. 161-171.
Hazzan, O. and Tomayko, J. (2003). The reflective practitioner perspective in eXtreme Programming,
Proceedings of the XP Agile Universe 2003, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, pp. 51-61.

1. Introduction
This position paper focuses on the application of the Reflective Practitioner (RP) perspective to the profession of Software Engineering (SE). The RP perspective, introduced by Donald Schön (1983,
1987), guides professional people (architects, managers, musicians and others) to rethink and examine their professional creations during and after the accomplishment of the creation process. The working assumption is that such a reflection improves the proficiency and performance within such professions.
Analysis of the field of SE and of the kind of work that software engineers usually accomplish, supports the adoption of the RP perspective to SE.
Specifically, this position paper focuses on the construction of ladders of reflection that may serve as a means that supports one 's thinking in terms of different levels of abstraction. Indeed, one message that is conveyed in this position paper is that the transition between levels of abstraction is an important skill for software developers. It is proposed that developers ' experience in the construction of ladders of reflection may improve their performance in the process of software development.

2. Software



References: Beck, K.(2000). Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change. Addison-Wesley. Schön, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner. BasicBooks, Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Towards a New Design for Teaching and Learning in The Profession. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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